Benefits of a Smart Thermostat
If your home’s HVAC system is still controlled by a yellowed, decades-old circular dial, it may be time to start paying attention to the benefits of a smart thermostat. Apart from added convenience and programming abilities, smart thermostats offer exceptional energy-saving capabilities and are designed to shrink your utility bills by offering precision and customization at all times.
Manual vs Programmable vs Smart Thermostats
Manual thermostats have been on the market for decades and really haven’t changed all that much in that time. They’re cheap, not totally precise, and extremely basic compared to more modern alternatives. If you’re still using a manual thermostat in your home, you may want to start looking into something with a bit more capability.
Programmable thermostats provide a significant upgrade over manual thermostats. As the name suggests, programmable thermostats allow you to schedule temperature adjustments days in advance or schedule out your week based on your preferences and comfort. Programmable thermostats, however, do not connect to the Internet. So any adjustments will still need to be made from the wall-mounted unit.
Smart thermostats are by far the most advanced option of the three. These devices connect to your home’s Wi-Fi and can be controlled through the wall unit or through an app on your phone. Smart thermostats are also programmable and can provide detailed daily, weekly, or monthly reporting relating to your energy usage and preferences. In addition, they can offer suggestions as to how you can be more efficient with your HVAC tendencies without having to sacrifice comfort.
Is it worth getting a smart thermostat?
Though it may sound a bit cliche, it’s hard to put a price on convenience. The ability to control your home’s heating and cooling from your phone or through voice commands is a nice touch, but that alone isn’t going to factor much into potential cost savings. However, you can put a price on energy usage (and more specifically, energy savings). Unlike a manual or programmable thermostat, a smart thermostat can monitor energy usage and generate reports designed to help you keep monthly costs low. Over time, it is certainly feasible for a smart thermostat to pay for itself in energy cost savings alone.
What to Consider When Selecting a Smart Thermostat
Unless upfront costs are your only contributing factor, it’s probably not a great investment to purchase a manual thermostat given the far superior options on the market. Programmable thermostats are certainly a big step up, but they too leave a lot to be desired in terms of functionality. So in terms of smart thermostats, you’ll want to look at a range of factors including ease of setup, programming capabilities, reporting options, and brand reputation. Smart thermostats come in a variety of styles and price points, so the more research you do ahead of time, the more prepared you’ll be to make the right purchase for your home.
One important thing to keep in mind when it comes to purchasing your first smart thermostat device is that installation is often not as simple as the packaging would lead you to believe. And like any smart device or technological addition to your home, your smart thermostat is only going to be of service to you and your family (and your wallet) if it’s installed correctly and operating as it should. To ensure you’re getting the most out of your smart thermostat, you may want to consider hiring a residential smart home automation service to handle the often complicated home installation process and ensure that you’re not being shorted on any of the benefits of a smart thermostat in your home.